Blackstreet Capital Holdings affiliate Black Bear acquires Two Hartford Area Ice Rinks
Hartford, CT – An affiliate of Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. (“Black Bear”) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT and Bolton Ice Palace in Bolton, CT (the “Arenas”). The Agreement is subject to normal course closing conditions. The Arenas collectively feature two NHL ice sheets, one Olympic ice sheet, a full-service gym, and a pool. The transaction also includes the purchase of the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack, the elite Tier I and Tier II youth hockey program. The Arenas are also home to the Whalers Youth Hockey Association & Eastern Connecticut Stars along with many figure skaters and recreational skaters in the area. The Sellers were Alan Lazowski, Founder and CEO of Laz Parking and former NHL player, Bob Crawford. Mr. Crawford will assume a senior role with Black Bear including becoming a member of the Board of Directors. Black Bear, the largest owner/operator of ice rinks in the U.S., was founded by CEO Murry Gunty in 2015.
“It has been my great honor to partner with Bob Crawford over the past 30 years and watch his passion and love for the game and his commitment to teach young men and women the art of the game,” said Alan Lazowski. “I am thrilled that Bob will continue his life’s work and legacy with Black Bear, the best and most prolific rink owner and operator in the United States.”
“We are excited to expand our Connecticut presence with this transaction, as Connecticut is such a strong hockey market,” said Murry N. Gunty, Founder and CEO of Black Bear. “More importantly, I am thrilled to have Bob Crawford join our organization to help us continue to build out our hockey business. Bob brings deep hockey experience from both his distinguished NHL career and his extensive youth hockey experience including leading leagues, representing his district and serving in leadership capacities at the highest levels of hockey. It is an honor to have him on board.”
“I am excited to stay on board and continue to develop players in the Jr. Wolfpack program and support Black Bear’s overall hockey business,” said ex-NHLer Bob Crawford. “Over the years we have had numerous offers to sell the rinks, but both Alan and I believe that Black Bear will be the best home for our families and our buildings and a great place for my wife, Kathleen, and I to continue to make a large impact on both our community and the sport that we both love. Bolton Ice Palace and Champions Skating Center will continue to thrive under Black Bear’s ownership.”
“Our mission is to continue growing hockey and ice sports in Connecticut and are thrilled to add another Tier I franchise that we can support through our numerous junior team franchises such as the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL,” said Ryan Scott, Vice President of Black Bear. “Under Bob’s leadership, we also look forward to growing our league and tournament businesses in Connecticut and the rest of the Northeast and expect to host numerous boys and girls events in our rinks.”
About Black Bear Sports Group, Inc.
Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. is a privately held company formed by Murry Gunty and Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC in 2015 that seeks investments in sports and entertainment facilities, teams, and youth sports events. Black Bear arenas are clean, professionally managed, and offer world-class recreational programs. Black Bear focuses on ice arenas in metropolitan areas with compelling demographics, markets with a National Hockey League club presence and arenas with existing youth hockey clubs. Black Bear not only features the ability to acquire healthy and stable arenas, but also the expertise required to turn around mismanaged or under-performing facilities. The largest owner/operator of ice rinks in the U.S., Black Bear’s footprint totals 27 facilities across the United States with 50 sheets of indoor ice, four indoor turf fields, 16 youth hockey clubs, two youth hockey leagues (Atlantic Hockey Federation and National Girls Hockey League) and three Junior “A” hockey franchises with membership in the United States Hockey League, North American Hockey League and Eastern Hockey League.
Contact Info: Ryan Scott, firstname.lastname@example.org
Delmont, Pa – Today, Palmer Imaging Arena held a Grand Re-Opening event, celebrating the new naming sponsorship with Palmer Products Imaging. Other announcements that were shared at the event included; new Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. ownership/management, UPMC ice rink naming rights sponsorship, and Happy Badgers Sports Pub unveiling.
Keynote speakers for the event were Leslie Rossi, Pennsylvania State Representative, Katie Holmgren, Director, Program Services, USA HockeyKeith Wassel, Owner, Happy Badgers Sports Pub, Scott Branovan, Director of Sales and Marketing/Regional Business Manager for Western PA, Black Bear Sports Group, Brian Hagen PhD, P.T., Sports Medicine Physical Therapist, UPMC and John Dziak, Co-Owner of Palmer Product Imaging and Owner and CEO of Printscape Imaging, Inc. The ribbon cutting was led by Dan DeBone, Executive Director, Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce.
Palmer Products Imaging owner Jeff Miller stated, “We are proud to partner with such a positive community asset. Palmer Imaging Arena is all about providing the citizens of the Delmont area a multitude of participatory sports programming as well as affordable family entertainment that promotes physical activity and healthy lifestyles without burdening taxpayers.” Miller added, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to display our branding products throughout the facility and to do our part toward our joint mission of providing the ultimate customer experience.”
“Palmer Products Imaging is an amazing group of people to work with and their products and services are second to none as prominently displayed throughout the facility.” said Black Bear Founder and CEO Murry Gunty. “We are extremely proud to carry this facility’s long standing presence in the Delmont community forward with Monroeville based Palmer brand name on the building.”
About Palmer Imaging Arena - Palmer Imaging Arena, owned by Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. is a multi-purpose sports facility located in Delmont, PA. Opened in 1997, the 125,000 square-foot facility includes three NHL-sized ice rinks, with one of the ice rinks converting in March through August to dry floor concrete /sport court. These ice rinks are complemented by two meeting/party rooms that support a variety of corporate and community functions as well as group outings/field trips. Palmer Imaging Arena’s mix of surfaces provides for a host of programs, program drop ins, leagues, themed events, expos, trade shows, shows and concerts. The facility is home to many user groups as well as a variety of on-site businesses including Wallace Fitness, KoSports Hockey, Happy Badgers Sports Pub, and Vocelli Pizza – Delmont. For more information, go to www.palmerimagingarena.com.
About Palmer Products Imaging - For over fifty years, Palmer Products Imaging has been printing and installing for our clients to effectively communicate through graphics and signage. We understand the importance of effectively delivering your message and we strive to do it beautifully through our prints. We produce large format full-color digital graphics for Point of Purchase displays, vehicles, trade show displays, floor graphics, banners, custom signage, custom wall murals, as well as decals and labels. Palmer Products Imaging can help you spread your message far and wide. For more information, go to www.palmerporducts.com
About Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. - Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. is a privately held company formed by Murry Gunty and Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC in 2015 that seeks investments in sports and entertainment facilities, teams and youth sports events. Black Bear arenas are clean and professionally managed and offer world-class recreational programs. Black Bear focuses on ice arenas in metropolitan areas with compelling demographics, markets with a National Hockey League club presence and arenas with existing youth hockey clubs. Black Bear has the ability to acquire healthy and stable arenas, but also to turn around under-managed or under-performing facilities. The largest owner/operator of ice rinks in the U.S., Black Bear’s footprint totals 25 facilities across the United States with 50 sheets of indoor ice, three indoor turf fields, 16 youth hockey clubs, one youth hockey league, the Atlantic Hockey Federation, the National Girls Hockey League and three Junior “A” hockey franchises in the United States Hockey League, NorthAmericanHockeyLeagueandEasternHockeyLeague.Formore,goto http://www.blackbearsportsgroup.com/
Bethesda, MD (November 1, 2021) – The Atlantic Hockey Federation (“AHF”) is pleased to announce its plans for the 2022-23 season as follows: (1) Inclusion of the Haverford Hawks, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Palmyra Black Knights, the Valley Forge Colonials, and the Wilkes Barre Scranton Knights as full season members and the St. James Hockey Club and the Southern Maryland Sabres as a Half-Season members, bringing total teams in the AHF to approximately 450, (2) Bolstering our management team with Matthew Kiernan as VP of Hockey and Jeff Sturm as Director of Hockey, (3) Additions of Jake Geverd, Owner of Valley Forge, and Dan May, Owner of NJ Avalanche, to the AHF Board of Directors, and; (4) Establishment of full season schedules for majority of teams eliminating secondary league status for most New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania teams.
“Despite the ongoing COVID challenges, the first season of the AHF has exceeded our expectations which is why we have decided to move toward full season status for the vast majority of our teams,” said Murry N. Gunty, Founder and CEO of Black Bear Sports Group. “I am also thrilled that Jake, Dan, Matt and Jeff have all joined our amazing group of partners to help us lead this league going forward. We have, by far, the best group of partners and management of any league in the country.”
“Our new structure has three objectives – provide the best competition, minimize travel and lower costs for our families,” said AHF VP of Hockey, Matt Kiernan. “We are looking forward to introducing many new features to the league next year that are really only available due to our unique structure of primarily rink owned/controlled clubs.”
“We now have, by far, the biggest footprint of any Tier II league in the district,” said Tim Fingerhut, AHF Commissioner. As a result, we can provide our families and players the best possible hockey experience available including an expanded playoff format and a pathway to nationals.”
About the Atlantic Hockey Federation, Inc.
The Atlantic Hockey Federation (“AHF”) is a USA Hockey-sanctioned elite Tier II youth hockey league that facilitates games throughout the Mid-Atlantic and seeks to lower costs for its member-owned clubs and their families. The AHF was founded by leading hockey organizations in the Mid-Atlantic, including the Montgomery Blue Devils, New Jersey Bandits, Rockets Hockey Club, Hollydell Hurricanes, Team Philadelphia and the 15 Black Bear Sports Group owned clubs. Each of the Founders operate at all levels of youth and junior hockey, from Mite through to Midget at the youth level and from Tier III (EHL and USPHL), Tier II (NAHL and NCDC), to Tier I (USHL) at the junior level. If you are looking for the best value, the AHF is for you. If you are looking for exposure to play college hockey, the AHF is also for you.
About Black Bear Sports Group, Inc.
Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. is a privately held company formed by Murry Gunty and Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC in 2015 that seeks investments in sports and entertainment facilities, teams and youth sports events. Black Bear arenas are clean and professionally managed and offer world-class recreational programs. Black Bear targets ice arenas in metropolitan areas with compelling demographics, existing youth hockey clubs and a National Hockey League club presence. The largest owner/operator of ice rinks in the U.S., Black Bear’s footprint totals 27 facilities across the United States with 50 sheets of indoor ice, two indoor turf fields, 15 youth hockey clubs and three Junior “A” hockey franchises in the United States Hockey League, North American Hockey League and Eastern Hockey League.
Contact Info: Matt Kiernan, V.P. Hockey, email@example.com
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